Browsing by Subject "social and moral philosophy"

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  • Leppänen, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The main idea that is advocated in this thesis is that a radical democratic theory needs a theory of dissent as one of its core concepts. The argument is made in favour of the view that a radical democratic theory requires a conception of justice as participatory parity and an account that makes change intelligible. The thesis defends the claim that Nancy Fraser s concept of justice as participatory parity combined with Ernesto Laclau s insights on populist democracy and hegemony best suits this requirement. The thesis is done within the framework of radical democracy. It is argued that by radical democracy is meant a form of democracy that is more democratic than liberal democracy. The connection between radical and liberal democracy lies in the fact that radical democratic theories are usually based on a critique of liberal institutionalism. Framed like this, there is an opposition between liberal and radical democracy. In the thesis it is claimed that a political theory of dissent should be positioned within the framework of radical democracy for a couple of overarching reasons. The first one is that the liberal democratic framework internalizes and domesticates dissent. This leads to the conclusion that the liberal democratic framework cannot treat dissent as a separate concept. Radical democracy, hence, is a view of democracy that is radical in relation to liberal democracy. It can be said to be radical towards democracy itself. To be radical towards democracy implies that radical democracy always stretches the boundaries of democracy. A separate political theory of dissent is important for the sake of showing that dissent can and should be viewed as a positive and constructive feature in society. Dissent is positive and constructive for many reasons: it fosters democratic citizenship, it aims to remove injustices, and it may improve the institutional framework and strengthens participatory parity in society. Even though dissent, as a form of participation, is a positive feature in society it cannot be completely institutionalized. On the other hand, a democratic society is required to uphold dissent as a feature in a manner that is similar to a right. It is argued that dissent should be viewed as a political conception that attempts to encompass actually occurring dissent. This is in contrast to dissent only as the idea of dissenting or fostering dissenting thoughts. It is proposed that dissent should be viewed as a conception that requires a divergent opinion to be articulated. The idea of articulated dissent ties the conception to social movements. Dissent, as portrayed in this thesis, ties radical democratic theory to institutional reality. The main idea is that dissent stems from disagreement with society s institutional arrangements and hence, it will also target those institutions. Hence, I propose that a theory of radical democratic dissent should be viewed as a theory that is positioned within the context of society s institutional framework.